Winners and finalists of the 2017 Odysseus Contest witness launch of Ariane 5 rocket with 4 Galileo satellites

What’s it like witnessing the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket first hand? It’s “unbelievable”, say the members of team Tumbleweed. “We will never forget this experience.” The three young scientists from Austria – Moritz Stephan, Stefan Rietzinger and Julian Rothenbuc with their teacher Mr Josef Pürmayr– were among the winners of this year’s Odysseus space contest, earning them an all-expenses-paid trip to the Spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana to see the launch of Ariane 5 rocket on December 12. Having won first-place honours in the Pioneers category , the three Austrians were joined at the launch viewing platform in South America by Catarina Alves and Tomás Silva of Portugal, who claimed first prize in the Explorers category of competition.

The first-place international prize-winners were also joined by international Pioneers finalists Florent Casagrande, Marti Dupouy, Nicolas Picard, Maciej Ciszewski, Cezary Troska, Piotr Moska from France and Poland with their teachers  Mr Pierre Marquestaut and Mr Tomasz Andreasik

In addition to witnessing the rocket launch, the Odysseus contestants were also treated to a wide program of activities in and around Kourou. They were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Ariane launch site, providing a valuable chance to talk with the engineers and technicians involved and helping them understand more about the sophisticated challenge of putting a rocket into space.


The launch of Ariane 5 with the four Galileo satellites

Catarina and Tomas in the French Guiana Space Port

The Tumbleweed team in French Guiana

Video from the Ceremony for “European Youth Space Ambassadors” 2017, Uni Graz Austria

The official Ceremony for presenting the diplomas of “European Youth Space Ambassadors” for 2017 to four of the seven winners of the 2017 Odysseus Contest took place at the University of Graz, on Tuesday 28th November 2017, 13:00 – 15:00.

During the ceremony the winners of the first prize for 2017, in the Pioneers Category, the Team Tumbleweed consisting of Moritz Stephan, Stefan Rietzinger and Julian Rothenbuchner with their teacher Mr Markus Holler, from the Sir Karl Popper School, in Vienna, Austria, presented their project “a Wind-propelled Mars Rover” and they were nominated European Youth Space Ambassadors 2017.

Angelina Makula, from the PG St. Ursula School in Salzburg, Austria, who won the Grand Prize in the Junior Skywalkers, with her painting entitled “Earth in the future!”, was also nominated European Youth Space Ambassador 2017.